Web Survey Bibliography
Title The Use of SMS as a Research Tool
Source The ASC's 4th International Conference on Survey and Statistical Computing, 2003: The Impact of Technology on Survey Process
Access date 17.05.2004
Presentation ppt (877k)
Abstract We will explore the use of SMS as an advertising medium and a new data collection tool for survey research. We are undertaking an empirical piece of original survey research, which will be of both methodological and substantive interest to the audience. It will study the effectiveness of SMS text messaging as a potentially new “disruptive” communication and research medium. A “disruptive innovation” is one that creates an entirely new market though the introduction of a new kind of product or service. According to Christensen, a fatal threat to established companies’ market share could begin as a low-quality, low-margin product that your customers don't want and can't use - yet. A disruptive technology is a new product or service that is not necessarily as good as your current product line. Typically, it's technologically simple. Often, it's more convenient to use. It's something that's cheaper, simpler, and often smaller. SMS is certainly a simple advertising medium. It is limited to 160 text characters, has no sound or high quality visuals. But ignore these disruptive technologies, and they just may grow in capability to meet mainstream needs. SMS has done just that. It has revolutionised inter-personal communications. From being a way to exchange information between engineers it has revolutionised person-to-person communications and entertainment. Can it do the same for advertising and marketing research? The explosion in personal text message usage which has taken place in recent years has led to ripples of excitement amongst many researchers because of the new research opportunities it represents. The growth in texting has been dramatic, reaching near saturation in some demographic segments, with 80% of 18-24 year olds using mobile phones and over 90% of this group making use of text messaging. What started as a personal Consumer-to-Consumer pursuit is increasingly moving towards a commercial, Business to Consumer activity. One rapidly emerging area is text-based advertising, whereby third parties use the 160 characters available to communicate with their target market. This completely new advertising medium is a very exciting one in which a number of companies are competitively selling advertising inventory and FMCG brands are keen to explore the possibilities of the medium and understand how they can best use it to promote their brands effectively. To facilitate their inventory sales these new sales companies have had to build large databases of mobile phone owning individuals. These databases may contain detailed behavioural and demographic profiling information to allow precise targeting of their client’s advertising offerings. This in turn has created the possibility of a new research medium that allows surveys to be delivered by telephone to precisely targeted samples of the mobile population, with their own personal return path. The potential cost and time advantages are obvious. A number of the ASP companies are now actively marketing the research opportunities that these ‘panels’ offer for conducting market research. The emergence of this new channel poses both opportunities and challenges for researchers in terms of: 1. How effective is SMS text messaging as an advertising medium and how does one go about measuring the advertising impact of this medium? 2. Does the medium create new opportunities as a channel for research? We are conducting a three-stage research programme to answer these questions. Stage One explored the effectiveness of SMS text messaging as an advertising medium for reaching young adults. This was done, with the cooperation of the London Business School and The Mobile Channel, among young people who had given their permission to TMC to send them mobile advertising. The trial lasted six weeks and 35 brands participated. They represented a range of sectors, chosen to appeal to the young adult market. Six types of advertising were tested “Brand building advertisements”, “Special Offers”, “Teasers”, “Information requests”, “Competitions” and “Polling”. The research found that traditional advertising effectiveness measures worked well. The results suggest that with the right execution, SMS Text Messaging can create high levels of readership, advertising awareness, positive brand attitude shifts, and lead to high levels of direct response to the advertising message. It will be argued that the new medium has the potential to be a truly disruptive technology in the advertising arena. The mobile phone is, in principle, the ultimate medium for one-to-one interactive marketing – marketing as conversation. It is an intensely personal medium, which consumers have close to them at all times, and which they use for some of their most intimate conversations and messages. This gives it the potential to be a disruptive research medium as well as an advertising medium. In the second part of the paper we will explore the degree to which this is likely. Stage Two of our research programme therefore examines the degree to which mobile phone users, identified from more traditional research panels, are likely to cooperate with market research studies. Here the results were less encouraging. From a sample of 3,474 members of the NOP Online panel that had mobile phones with SMS capabilities only 19% granted us permission to send them surveys using SMS. While this was very similar to the percentage of our panel that is willing to take telephone studies from us (17%) it is five times worse than the cooperation levels we discovered for face to face interviewing (81%) and mail studies (77%). In the paper we will explore the reasons for this high level of non-cooperation and show how by addressing the key concerns of respondents researchers can achieve significant increases in co-operation rates. These were identified via an online qualitative research study to ascertain why such a high proportion of our panellists were reluctant to take surveys by SMS. Our initial findings are in line with the latest “2001 Respondent Cooperation & Industry Image Study” produced by The Council for Marketing & Opinion Research, which argued that consumers prefer Internet and mail surveys to the more intrusive telephone method. Our hypothesis is that the very strengths of SMS, its personal nature, precise targeting and portability, which make it such a powerful advertising medium, may actually work against it as a research medium. It is possible that our panellists see it as an intrusive method of contacting them and therefore one that they do not favour as a research medium. However, even if we argue that SMS is unlikely to be a uniquely “disruptive” research medium, it is possible that it can play a role in a multi-modal research design. In a world in which we want to encourage respondents to complete surveys by whatever mode is most convenient to them, it might be that there are certain research situations where we find that SMS has a role to play. For example a recent ESOMAR paper argued that it was a technique capable of measuring daily newspaper readership using SMS questions sent via a mobile telephone. In stage three of our research programme we will explore the types of research that can best be conducted using SMS. In the final paper we will report on the findings of the study that we will shortly conduct. This study will be an experimental design in which we will test the effects on SMS survey response rates of asking different types of questions, interview length, open-ended questions and incentives. The literature currently offers no advice on any of these areas. The paper will therefore make a major contribution to the literature on “wireless” as a communications & research medium and the degree to which it is likely to be a “disruptive” force in these two fields.
Access/Direct link Homepage - conference (abstract)
Year of publication2003
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Web Survey Bibliography - 2003 (396)
- Interactive Aspects of Web Surveys; 2003; Conrad, F. G., Couper, M. P., Tourangeau, R.
- Hyperlink Analyses of the World Wide Web: A Review; 2003; Park, H. W., Thelwall, M.
- Comparing Data Quality in Telephone and Internet Surveys: Results of Lab and Field Experiments; 2003; Krosnick, J. A.
- Measuring Visual Political Knowledge in Web-Based Surveys; 2003; Prior, M.
- The Effects of Visual Construction Variations on Answers to Internet Surveys; 2003; Dillman, D. A.
- Correcting for Sample Selection Bias in Internet Panel Surveys Based on Random Digit Dialing Sampling...; 2003; Dennis, J. M., Li, R. J., de Shazo, J. R., Cameron, T. A.
- Web Surveys: A meta-analysis; 2003; Vehovar, V.
- Methodological Problems with Measuring Social Networks on the Web; 2003; Vehovar, V.
- Internet Recruiting: The Effects of Web Page Design Features; 2003; Braddy, P. W., Foster Thompson, L., Wuensch, K. L., Grossnickle, W. F.
- An Experimental Comparison of Computer-Mediated and Face-to-Face Focus Groups; 2003; Underhill, C., Olmsted, M. G.
- Exploiting Hyperlinks to Study Academic Web Use; 2003; Wilkinson, D., Thelwall, M., Li, X.
- Who Participates and Why?; 2003; Weber, L. M., Loumakis, A., Bergman, J.
- Collecting Data on Ego-Centered Social Networks on the Web; 2003; Koren, G., Lozar Manfreda, K., Vehovar, V., Hlebec, V.
- Latent Class Models for Studying Measurement-Related Mode Effects in Mixed-Mode Surveys; 2003; McCutcheon, A. L.
- Item Non-Response Reminder in a Web Survey; 2003; Fuchs, M.
- Methodological Issues in Mobile Phone Surveys; 2003; Vehovar, V., Batagelj, Z., Callegaro, M., Fuchs, M., Kuusela, V.
- How Visual Design Influences Responses to Internet and Other Self -Administered Questionnaires; 2003; Dillman, D. A.
- Design and Measurement Issues in Web Surveys; 2003; Couper, M. P.
- Web-Based Data Collection in Establishment Survey; 2003; Jeon, J.
- The Importance of Timeframe and Advertisement in Internet Surveys: An Exploratory Analysis; 2003; Casanovas, J., Esteves, J., Pastor, J.
- Potentiality of propensity scores methods in weighting for Web surveys: a simulation study based on...; 2003; Biffignandi, S., Toninelli, D., Pratesi, M.
- Statistik-Online- A New Approach to Collect Statistical Data by Internet; 2003; Pricking, T.
- Online Social Research: Methods, Issues, And Ethics:Issues Of Attribution And Identification In Online...; 2003; Barnes, S.
- Submit, Resist, or Subvert?: Organization Members’ Responses to Electronic Surveillance; 2003; Coopman, S., Watkins Allen, M., Hart, J.
- Applying The Tailored Design To Internet Surveys With College Students; 2003; Cotten, S. R.
- New Approaches Towards Collecting Data On Ego-Centered Social Networks - Interactive Web Questionnaires...; 2003; Koren, G., Hlebec, V., Lozar Manfreda, K., Vehovar, V.
- The Revolution Masterclass on Online research; 2003; Smith, P.
- Online relevance for competitive intelligence; 2003; Ojala, M.
- The Internet and financial planning practices; 2003; Yunich, R. H.
- Virtual Religion: A Study Of Spiritual Webmasters; 2003; McDaniel, T.
- Net research is not quite global; 2003; Parmar, A.
- Material Incentives in Web Surveys - A Meta-Analysis; 2003; Goeritz, A.
- Survey metrics ward off problems; 2003; Brown, J.
- We've got your numbers; 2003; Goddard, C.
- Web efforts energize customer research; 2003; Hogg, A.
- An Alternative Method for Poll Survey: Possibility of Using Mobile Phone Survey; 2003; Kang, M., Cho, S.
- The Clash of Traditional and New Media in the 2002 Korean Presidential Election; 2003; Loh, T.
- Utility of Web-based assessment of patient satisfaction with endoscopy; 2003; Harewood, G. C., Wiersema, M. J., de Groen, P. C.
- Innovative Web use to learn about consumer behavior and online privacy; 2003; Earp, J. B., Baumer, D.
- Cybersurveys come of age; 2003; Ray, N. M., Tabor, S. W.
- From paper to pixels: Moving personnel surveys to the Web; 2003; Thompson, L. F., Surface, E. A., Martin, D. L., Sanders, M. G.
- An empirical study on the adoption of information appliances with a focus on interactive TV; 2003; Choi, H., Choi, M., Kim, J., Yu, H.
- How much can technology help research?; 2003; Glass, N.
- Visiting rural "virtual villages" through online surveys and online ethnography; 2003; Skerratt, S., Warren, M.
- We seek them here, we seek them there. How technical innovation in mixed mode survey software is responding...; 2003; Macer, T.
- Internet-based Stated Preference Surveys: studies in public transport and traffic information; 2003; Killi, M., Nossum A.
- The Use of SMS as a Research Tool; 2003; Cooke, M., Strong, C., Nielsen, A.
- The Gold Standard Tarnishes: Is Online Research the Solution?; 2003; Coates, D.
- Mobile Phones and Telephone Survey Methods; 2003; Kuusela, V.
- SMS Polling: A Methodological Review; 2003; Duke, S.